Monday, December 26, 2011

The MBTA Plays Scrooge - BAH HUMBUG!!!!

Christmas night - riders at Park Street ( and perhaps other stations) were amused by this attempt at holiday cheer.

But this being the 21st Century somebody in T management was not amused.

MBTA worker faces possible discipline
for displaying 'Deck the Halls' on signs

A dispatcher injected a bit of unauthorized whimsy into the LED signs at the Park Street Station. He programmed them to scroll the carol's lyrics.

These signs were supposed to tell us how many minutes before the next train but after more than 2 years they still only tell us a train is arriving ( like we need a sign to tell us that )

Hopefully the T will not discipline this worker.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

John Lincoln Wright - Rest In Peace

John Lincoln Wright (left) and the Sour Mash Boys (with Tom Miller on bass) excelled performing honky tonk music in the area. They thrilled the Topsfield Fair audience in 2002.
Boston Globe Photo

John Lincoln Wright passed away on December 4th and his death has saddened many in the Cambridge-Somerville area which was home but also untold thousands across New England. 

Lincoln had a large and loyal following and from the 70's into the 90's he could fill just about any club he chose to play in from the old 1369 in Inman Square to the Plough and Stars, Johnny D's and even the Middle East. He also preformed all over New England and I recall one night in Portland, Maine where he entertained thousands at  Deering Oaks Park. 

It is no secret that the last twenty years were not good to Lincoln as he simply seemed to give up on life. He would waste away afternoons at the Plough, Whitney's or the CanTab and he just didn't care anymore.

He had two passions in life, music and his beloved Boston Red Sox. He recorded a Red Sox song in the mid 70's that became well known because of the chorus and it was played on stations as diverse as WITS, WHDH, WVBF and WBCN.

In the early 90's Lincoln was invited by the Red Sox to sing the anthem at Fenway Park and I don't think anyone ever saw him so happy. Of course being a perfectionist he thought he had botched it even though everybody assured him he had not.

It is almost forgotten than in the late 60's John was the front-man of a Boston rock band - The Beacon Street Union - that was badly mishandled by out of state record producers. The so called 'Bossound' was eclipsed by San Francisco bands and the very good Boston bands were forgotten.

Beacon Sreet Union with Ken Harrelson on TV

 This television show captures Lincoln perfectly
The man lived to perform.
 RIP Lincoln.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Is this video the Red Sox smoking gun??????

This video seems to be what caused Red Sox ownership to explode - John Lackey, Josh Beckett , Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and Tim Wakefield appear — in uniform! — in country singer Kevin Fowler’s video “Hell Yeah, I Like Beer”? How did the team allow this video to be shot at Fenway??

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


At 6am on Monday September 12th, 2011, 93.7 Mike FM became WEEI FM.

Since the move the Red Sox have gone 4-10.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

REMEMBER - Hurricanes CAN cause damage in Boston itself

With Irene heading up the coast we of course are getting all kinds of warnings to get ready....

Here are some reminders that these storms can cause major damage in the city...




The Old North Churh steeple was destroyed

          WBZ-TV Allston before Hurricane Carol in 1954
then Hurricane Carol hit on 9/1/1954


Here is a brief overview of storms that have hit Massachusetts - Irene is sure to join this list

The Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635
August 25, 1635

This was the first historical record of an intense hurricane striking New England. The highest winds have been estimated at Category 3 or greater, with winds of 115-plus mph. The storm’s eye passed between Boston and Plymouth causing at least 46 casualties. A 20-foot tidal surge was reported in Boston, ruining farms throughout the area. Reports from Governor William Bradford describing the drowning of dozens of Native Americans, the toppling of thousands of trees and the flattening of houses suggest that this storm possessed even greater intensity than the storms of 1815 and 1938.

The Great September Gale of 1815
September 23, 1815

This storm was the first major hurricane to impact New England in 180 years. It initiated in the West Indies, growing to a Category 3 with winds of 135 mph. After crossing Long Island, New York, the storm came ashore at Saybrook, Connecticut, funneling an 11-foot storm surge up Narragansett Bay. There, it destroyed 500 houses, 35 ships and flooded Providence, Rhode Island. Impacting Central and Coastal Massachusetts, ‘The Great Gale’ destroyed the bridge over the Neponset River, connecting Dorchester and Milton, Massachusetts. At least 38 deaths have been attributed to this disaster.

The September Gale of 1869
September 8, 1869

A Category 3, this ‘September Gale’ was first observed in the Bahamas. It ultimately made landfall in Rhode Island just west of Buzzards Bay, dissipating in Northern Maine. This storm was very compact, but intense. It was reported to have been only 60 miles wide, but it caused extensive damage in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maine. Fortunately, its arrival coincided with low tide lessening the storm surge and resulting damage.

The Great New England Hurricane of 1938
September 21, 1938

This Category 5, which has also been dubbed “The Long Island Express”, was first detected in the Tropical Atlantic. As it slowly moved northward, it suddenly accelerated to a forward motion of 60 to 70 mph, when it was 100 miles east of North Carolina. Without warning, it made landfall as a Category 3, during an astronomically high tide along Long Island, New York and the Connecticut coast. The Blue Hill Observatory, outside of Boston, measured sustained winds of 121 mph, with gusts of 183 mph. Storm surges of 10 to 12 feet inundated portions of the coast from Long Island to Southeastern Massachusetts, most notably in Narragansett Bay and Buzzards Bay. Heavy rains of 3” to 6” produced severe flooding, particularly in areas of Western Massachusetts and along the Connecticut River. Downtown Providence, Rhode Island was impacted by a 20-foot storm surge. Sections of the Towns of Falmouth and Truro on Cape Cod were under 8 feet of water. The widespread destruction resulting from this storm included 600 deaths and 1,700 injuries. Over $400 million in damage occurred, including 9,000 homes and businesses lost and 15,000 damaged. Damage to the Southern New England fishing fleet was catastrophic, as over 6,000 vessels were either destroyed or severely damaged.

The Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944
September 14-15, 1944

Sometimes compared to the Great Hurricane of 1938, this storm was first detected northeast of the Lesser Antilles. From there, it hugged the United States coast, crossing Long Island, New York, the Rhode Island Coast, emerged into Massachusetts Bay and impacted Maine. With 140 mph winds, this Category 4, produced hurricane force winds over a diameter of 600 miles causing over $100 million damage. 70-foot high waves were also reported. Up to 11” of rain fell in areas of New England. 390 deaths, mostly at sea, were attributed to this hurricane. It wreaked havoc on World War II shipping, sinking a U.S. Navy destroyer and minesweeper, as well as two U.S. Coast Guard cutters.
Hurricane Dog
September 11-12, 1950

A strong Category 5, Hurricane Dog reached a peak intensity of 185 mph. First observed east of the Lesser Antilles on August 30th, this was a major hurricane that never actually made landfall, passing within 200 miles of Cape Cod. However, it was responsible for the deaths of at least a dozen fishermen off the New England coast. It also caused about $3 million damage. To this day, it retains the record for the longest continuous duration for a Category 5 Atlantic Hurricane of 60 hours, from September 5th through September 8th. ‘Dog” also fluctuated between Category 4 & 5 strength on four different occasions, which is also a record.

Hurricane Carol
August 31, 1954

This compact, but powerful Category 2 battered New England, killing 68. With 100 mph winds, gusting up to 135mph, ‘Carol’ caused over $461 million in damage, destroying 4,000 homes, 3,500 cars, and over 3,000 boats. This was arguably the most destructive storm to hit Southern New England since 1938. It formed as a tropical storm near the Bahamas, making brief landfall along the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The storm passed over Long Island, New York, through Central New England into Canada, bringing a storm surge of 14.4 feet to Narragansett Bay and New Bedford Harbor. Over 6” of rain fell. Water depths reached 12 feet in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. Some consider ‘Carol’ the worst storm in the history of Cape Cod. All of Rhode Island, much of Eastern Connecticut, and much of Eastern Massachusetts lost power, with a 95% loss of telephone service. The name ‘Carol’ has been retired.
Hurricane Edna
September 11, 1954

‘Edna’ arrived right on the heels of Hurricane Carol. It formed off of Barbados, reaching Category 3 strength at the Outer Banks of North Carolina, with its highest winds of 120 mph. Before striking New England, its eye split into two different ones, up to 60 miles apart at times, moving over Cape Cod & the Islands where peak gusts were recorded at 120 mph. Its eastern track, which resulted in heavy rain and major inland flooding, adding 5” to 7” of rain to Carol’s previous 6”. The storm was responsible for 29 deaths and $40 million damage. Ultimately, it made landfall near Eastport, Maine, becoming one of Maine’s worst-ever hurricanes. The name ‘Edna’ has been retired.
Hurricane Diane
August 17-19, 1955

Born in the tropical Atlantic, this storm reached Category 3 status, as it followed the path of Hurricane Connie of 5 days earlier. Maximum winds were recorded at 120 mph. Although it weakened to a Tropical Storm as it reached the Southern New England coast, ‘Diane’ dropped heavy rain of 10” to 20”, setting flood records throughout the region. The storm was blamed for between 185 and 200 deaths. The $832 million damage qualified it as the most costly hurricane in U.S. history until Hurricane Betsy in 1965. The name ‘Diana’ has been retired.
Hurricane Donna
September 12, 1960

Hurricane Donna was a Category 5 Cape Verde-type hurricane that impacted most of the Caribbean Islands and every single state on the U.S. Eastern seaboard. It recorded 160 mph winds with gusts up to 200 mph. ‘Donna’ holds the record for retaining ‘major hurricane’ status of Category 3 or better in the Atlantic basin for the longest period of time. From September 2nd to September 11th it sustained winds of 115 mph as it roamed the Atlantic for 17 days. This storm is the only one on record to produce hurricane-force winds in Florida, the Mid-Atlantic States and New England. ‘Donna’ hit New England in Southeast Connecticut with sustained winds of 100 mph, gusting to 125-130 mph, cutting diagonally through the region to Maine. It produced pockets of 4” to 8” of rain as well as 5 to 10-foot storm surges. The storm ultimately killed 364, and caused over $500 million in damage. The name ‘Donna’ has been retired.
Hurricane Gloria
September 27, 1985

Hurricane Gloria was a powerful Category 4 Cape Verde-type storm that prowled the Atlantic for 13 days, with highest winds of 145 mph. Hugging the coastline, as it made its way north, ‘Gloria’ crossed Long Island, New York, making landfall at Milford, Connecticut. In spite of arriving during low tide, it did cause severe beach erosion along the New England coast, as well as the loss of many piers and coastal roads. There was a moderate storm surge of 6.8 feet in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The storm left over 2,000,000 people without power. It dropped up to 6” of rain in Massachusetts, causing many flooding issues in the region. Overall, casualties were relatively low with 8 deaths, but damage reached $900 million. The name ‘Gloria’ has been retired.

Hurricane Bob
August 19, 1991
Formed east of the Bahamas, Hurricane Bob made landfall in New England near New Bedford, Massachusetts with 115 mph winds, cutting a path across Southeastern Massachusetts towards the Gulf of Maine. Peak winds of 125 mph were recorded in the Towns of Brewster and Truro on Cape Cod. Over 60% of the residents of Southeastern Massachusetts and Southeastern Rhode Island lost power. There were 4 different reports of tornados as ‘Bob’ came ashore. Buzzards Bay saw a 10 to 15-foot storm surge. A number of south-facing beaches on the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard lost 50 feet of beach to erosion. Up to 7” of rain was reported to have fallen throughout New England. ‘Bob’ was blamed for 18 storm-related deaths. The damage total for Southern New England was set at $1 billion, with $2.5 billion overall damage from the storm. The name ‘Bob’ has been retired.

Friday, July 8, 2011

An open Letter to David Mugar - Arthur Fielder is rolling over in his grave.. CBS MUST GO.

An open letter to David Mugar

I think everybody enjoyed the fireworks on Monday night in Mission Hill and Government Center....

Last weekend I was trying to get CBS to show lyrics for the sing-a-long and of course that went nowhere. But for me this showing the fireworks over locations that can't see them was the last straw for me.

It is time we the citizens of Boston take control of our wonderful party and not suffer on the whims of somebody at CBS in New York.

Now it IS IMPORTANT to understand that this July 4th tradition would not exist without David Mugar.
from the  the event website
Boston 4 Productions is the production arm of Boston 4 Celebrations Foundation, a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization. Boston 4 Productions is responsible for all phases of the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, known as America’s premier Independence Day Celebration. The event was founded in 1974 when David Mugar suggested to famed Boston Pops Conductor, Arthur Fiedler, that in order to revive the diminishing Esplanade concert series it might be a good idea to play Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” with a few extras. For the next Fourth of July, howitzer cannons, fireworks and church bells were added to the concert so that, in Arthur Fiedler’s own words, “All Hell could break loose.” For the first time, a July Fourth fireworks display took place over the Charles River.

The event really took off in 1976 when CBS televised the 1812 Overture and the Stars and Stripes Forever live as part of an all day Bi-Centennial show and Walter Cronkite gushed that Boston was the best.

For several years afterwards WGBH televised the concert and then Mugar sold the rights to WCVB (Channel 5) which then in turn fed the program to the A&E network. The event had a small but loyal following outside of Boston.

But then Mugar pleading poverty and the event could be in danger sold the rights to CBS. It has been a disaster ever since.

                                                        Remember Dr. Phil hosting in 2006?

To be fair Craig Ferguson did it from 2007-10 and everybody loved him but he decided this year to spend the holiday with family and Michael Chiklis was fine.

But the problem is, the program today is NOT the one that Arthur Fiedler designed.

Fiedler would play the 1812 Overture at the end of the program ( followed by Stars and Stripes ) and then the fireworks began. More importantly

                                                 THEY WERE OVER BY 10 PM

CBS wanted no part of the 1812 Overture so that now runs on the local channel 4 slot but it ruins the flow of the program. More importantly for the hundreds of thousands watching they have to wait and wait and get teased by the small volley at the end of the 1812. This makes it VERY boring for the children.

The fireworks starting at 10:35 PM is complete insanity. Unlike Mr. Mugar most of us have to go to work the next day and 11 PM is WAY too late for children.

Also how on earth could the Stanley Cup not be included this year?

Mugar THINKS he knows all about television and he was handed the old WNAC-TV when the FCC revoked the license of RKO General and it became WNEV in 1982. What a complete disaster that station was.

Remember "The Dream Team" of news???

I beg David Mugar to admit this relationship with CBS has been a disaster. There are millions who can't see the entire concert now that they watched on the A&E Network. What is even more insulting is that CBS will not make the video of the local broadcast available on-line ( just WBZ radio audio)

CBS doesn't really have a cable partner outside of Showtime BUT they could show the first half of the concert on the CW Network that they own - and people WOULD watch. But if CBS doesn't want to do that - GO BACK TO WCVB/HEARST/A&E.

Please - give us back Arthur Fiedler's vision...

James Kane

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Why can't CBS show the lyrics of the 4th singalong?????


To get everyone in the mood

For reasons unknown -  CBS NEVER shows the words during the sing-a-long as WCVB/A&E always did... ( don't get me going on how CBS screwed our tradition up)

So here are the words so you CAN sing along

My country ’tis of thee,
sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim’s pride!
From ev’ry mountain side,
Let freedom ring!

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain.
For purple mountain majesties,
above the fruited plain.
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

Oh! Yankee Doodle came to town
a-ridin’ on a pony
He stuck a feather in his hat and
called it macaroni.
Yankee Doodle keep it up,
Yankee Doodle dandy.
Mind the music and the step and with
the girls be handy.

I’m a Yankee Doodle dandy,
a Yankee Doodle do or die.
A real live nephew of my Uncle Sam,
Born on the Fourth of July.
I’ve got a Yankee Doodle sweetheart,
she’s my Yankee Doodle joy.
Yankee Doodle came to town,
a-ridin’ on a pony,
I am a Yankee Doodle boy.

This land is your land,
this land is my land
From California to the New York island,
From the redwood forest to the
Gulf Stream waters;
This land was made for you and me.
Words and music by Woody Guthrie
TRO ©1956-1958-1970 Ludlow Music, Inc., New York
Used by Permission

You’re a grand old flag,
you’re a high flying flag.
And forever in peace may you wave;
You’re the emblem of the land I love,
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev’ry heart beats true,
Under red, white, and blue,
Where there’s never a boast or brag;
But should old acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag

by Irving Berlin
God bless America, land that I love.
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with
the light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam,
God bless America,
my home sweet home.
God bless America,
my home sweet home.

Copyright ©1938, 1939 by Irving Berlin.
Copyright assigned to Gene Tunney, A.L. Berman,
and Ralph J. Bunche as trustees,
God Bless America Fund. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Red Sox told Cubs - We should have built a new park instead...

Story breaking in Chicago that Wrigley Field may not be saved as it is too far gone.

Cubs officials claim Wrigley maybe beyond rehab

 Of note to us in Boston
It was rumored that when the Cubs brass talked with Red Sox brass during their series in May, Boston officials told the Ricketts they would build a new stadium if they had to do it over again.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Boston, Massachusetts - HOCKEYTOWN, USA!!!!!! (NO BANDWAGONERS PLEASE!!!!)

Tonight the Boston Bruins take on Tampa Bay in Game 1 of the NHL Eastern Finals. It has been 19 years since the Broons have been this close.

This may be hard for some of you to believe but 40 years ago the Broons were MUCH bigger than the Red Sox and Patriots and even the Celtics were an afterthought.

Kevin Dupont in the Saturday Globe sets the stage

If you are over 40 this music was a part of your life - Nutty by The Ventures


Friday, May 13, 2011

Phil Esposito hopes Tampa kicks the Bruins butt

Phil's comments about the Bruins are a bit shocking.....remember his #7 is hanging at TD Garden

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

May 10, 1970

Ted Williams once asked Bobby Orr - "Is that the only damn goal you ever scored?"

A day that will live forever in Boston sports history

How Fred Cusick called it on WBZ Radio

Dan Kelly's call on CBS

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The end is near for candlepin bowling as Natick landmark will close

It was the longtime home of the long running Saturday noontime bowling show that ran on channel 5 for nearly 40 years. Now word comes that Fairway Sports World on Route 9 in Natick will close later this month.
Fairway's Farewell: What does it say about leisure time in the 21st century?

Read more:

An 81-year-old Korean War veteran, Lupinski recalled when "whole families were involved" in bowling leagues or related activities.
Later, he and his wife, Alice, said families with two working parents are so busy it's the grandparents who often take children bowling.
"Bowling is a dying thing. I don't know if there's going to be any lanes left in 10 years. I feel bad for parents because there's not so many activities for kids in town," he said.

Here is a video of the most famous match in the history of the channel 5 bowling show.....

Thursday, April 28, 2011

In Montreal sadness - and what is NESN's Jack Edwards smoking?

In Montreal last night - the infamous Peel Pub was packed with Habs fans rooting their team to victory...

and then total shock when Boston won

In Boston there was joy

NESN's Jack Edwards signed off last night with a special message directed at Montreal fans

"As I was driving from the former seat of all NHL power, Montreal, through the free and independent states of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts today, it struck me what an odd thing royalty is.
"Royalty in modern times is something that is perpetuated by those who didn't actually make those great conquering achievements that established their reigns, but rather those who find themselves, because of a certain location in history and an accident of birth, to be in a position to 'carry on a tradition.'
"Yet, those 'royals' sit there on their shiny thrones and primp in their hand mirrors and try to dictate morality according to them, about how you can dive, or how you should play, or how you shouldn't run a player into the center glass. 
"And the rest of us, those poor filthy masses, are just supposed to take it.
"Well, a couple of hundred years ago, a bunch of rowdy radicals charged out of some Boston bars, went down to the dock, and dumped the King's tea into the salty sea.
"And in doing that, it struck a chord that rings true even today, that when confronted when imperious conceit, fighting the good fight is not only the right thing to do, it can be a heck of a lot of fun.
"And who has more fun than us?"


Philadelphia here we come.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

GO BRUINS!!!!!!!!! Win it in Six!!!!!

If you have any doubt that Boston is deep down a hockey city, all you have to do is walk around the city today.

Everybody in the hockey world is talking about this save by Tim Thomas....

VIDEO from RDS Montreal

At 11:03 PM Saturday night the roof at TD Garden blew off
Video NESN

Here is a stat they are fretting about in Montreal this afternoon...

The Canadiens have a 16-27 playoff record since moving into the Molson/Bell Centre in 1996, the latest two losses coming in Games 3 and 4 of this series.

Their winning percentage of .327 is the worst of any team at home in the playoffs since 1996, according to

There wll NOT be a Game 7 - GO BROONS!!!!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The B Line of 30-40 years ago

I just had to pass along this wonderful animation of what a ride on the B-Boston College Line was like 35-40 years ago before the LRV's made the line a living nightmare. This is so well done.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Is Quebec Province Insane???? - OUI!!!!!


City in Uproar

MONTREAL - Montreal police have launched an official investigation into Tuesday night's violent hit on Habs forward Max Pacioretty.

In a release issued early Thursday, Quebec's Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DCPP) confirmed it had advised the ministry of Public Security that it was recommending an investigation.

It didn't take long for officials to respond. Montreal police issued a brief statement a few hours later confiming they had been asked by the ministry to begin looking into the hit and its aftermath.

The investigation will begin immediately, said Montreal police Constable Olivier Lapointe. Police made no further comment.

Read more:

Anybody who knows hockey is saddened by the injury to Montreal player Max Pacioretty but it was simply the result of being in the hockey version of  the perfect storm. Zdeno Chara is not a dirty player like Matt Cooke of the Pittsburgh Penguins who a year ago may have ended the career of Bruins player Marc Savard.

I was shocked myself that Chara escaped punishment but that just shows how badly the National Hockey league is run these days. Of course Gary Bettman had to anger Montreal fans even more with his statement on Thrusday in Washington before the US Congress.

However the reaction in Quebec once ago shows how out of touch with reality many citizens of that province are - especially the francophones. Many of their citizens believe that they are a Distinct Society (in French la société distincte). 

The injury to Max was horrific - but it wasn't the hit that did the damage - it was the exposed stanchion that did the damage. Last season one of your players Hal Gill made the EXACT same hit but the stanchion didn't enter into it - and the fans cheered.

As an American who has visited Quebec going back to my first trip with my parents in 1962, I have watched as Montreal proudly showed itself off to the world with Expo 67 which in turn brought major league baseball to Canada with the creation of the Montreal Expos. For Expo the city built a wonderful subway (Metro) and developed a vast underground city where in the harshness of winter you could travel all over downtown without once stepping outside. It was magical.

The city in those years was run by a powerful mayor, Jean Drapeau, who was very much like Richard J Daley in Chicago. In 1970 Frank Deford wrote a long article on the mayor.
Run It Up The Flagpole, Johnny

When Jean Drapeau, the mayor of Montreal, first unfurled some of his grandiose schemes the world snickered. But now with Expo, big-league baseball and the Olympics safely in hand His Honor is accepting salutes

Read more:

The 1976 Olympics was a financial disaster that makes our Big Dig look like a well managed project. The games were budgeted at a modest $120 million (CDN) but just the stadium alone wound up costing $1.6 BILLION. The taxpayers of Montreal and Quebec were on the hook and they were angry and they started to listen to a reporter turned politican named René Lévesque and the Parti Québécois.

The Parti Québécois had two major goals, one to make Quebec a sovereign nation and to eliminate the use of the English language as much as possible. In 1977 the new government passed the Charter of the French Language (La charte de la langue française). That law set in motion the wholesale flight of anglophones to Ontario and Toronto led by Sun Life Financial. Large companies simply did not want to be burdened with a legal requirement that everything must be done in French. The population of Metro Toronto exploded and Montreal became nothing more than a branch office town for Quebec.

New Englanders have suffered for over 40 years as Quebec never had the money to finish Autoroute 35 from the Vermont border to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu forcing drivers to use Quebec Route 133 which is something out of the 1920's. Only now are they starting to finish it.

How goofly did the Quebec government become over the use of English? I can remember back in 1999 that a famous anglophone bar The Winston Churchill was fined for having a sandwich board on the street that said WELCOME BOSTON RED SOX FANS - Somehow I think a sign that said Bienvenue Fanatiques Chaussettes Rouge de Boston would be lost on someone from Quincy. In 1998 Morley Safer and 60 Minutes visited Montreal to see if the language police actually existed.

Francophones until the 1960's were indeed considered second class citizens by the anglophone ruling class and I can remember seeing cold water flats as late as the 70's in the eastern end of the city while Westmount, Quebec had wealth that rivaled Greenwich, CT or Beverly Hills. Besides the language you also had a carryover from the UK in Catholic vs Protestant. The francohone nationalists even created an urban legend that salespeople at Montreal's largest department store Eaton's could not speak French but that simply wasn't true.

However a famous Canadian short story that was made into an animated feature pokes fun at the Eaton's relationship with French speaking customers.

The Quebec Separatism movement is something I have watched over the years and I try to see the issues as best I can being an American and anglophone. One of the first things the Parti Québécois did in 1978 was playing the phrase Je me souviens replaced La Belle Province on Quebec's licence plates. It translates to 'I Remember'. Many believe that the phrase is supposed to remind people of the Bataille des Plaines d'Abraham or Première bataille de Québec in 1759 where the British took control over New France and the end of francophone independence.

File:Quebec 1992 license plate.jpg

But what I find hysterical is when you remind these hardcore separatists of how history evolved they can't come up with a response and just shrug. Very simply ask them what do you think would have happened if the French had WON the Battle of Quebec. Is it not safe to assume that when Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803 sold Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, parts of Minnesota that were west of the Mississippi River, most of North Dakota, nearly all of South Dakota, northeastern New Mexico, the portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide, and Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans to the United States he also would have included Quebec is they still owned it. How do you think Quebec would have evolved under Washington, DC? Having England win the battle was the best thing that ever happened to you and most likely all of Canada. If the United States had gotten control of the St. Lawrence River it is likely that they would have wound up with Ontario as well.

Don't get me wrong, I love Quebec and Montreal but the arrogance that many ( but not all ) francophones have towards all things anglo has just gotten old. Quebec's refusal to have bilingual road signs is an insult to your neighboring provinces and states. They put up buffer zone signs in both languages - why can't you?

Sign for US drivers SHOULD be in ENGLISH

Even some places in FRANCE use STOP instead of arrêt!!

A few years ago when Molson had their famous I AM CANADIAN ad campaign there was a parody done by an Toronto radio station CFNY-FM.

Finally - while I have the greatest respect for Club de Hockey Canadien and their history I am disgusted by a small but sadly very loud group of fans at the Centre Bell who feel they must boo the National Anthem of the United States. How do you think the SIX US born players of the Canadiens feel when you idiots do that.

Back in 2004 Boston Bruins fans sent a message to those idiot fans.

You want respect??? SHOW SOME not only at the hockey rink but in everyday life.

Oh Canada! Oh Quebec! Requiem For A Divided Country
               Oh Canada! Oh Quebec!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We're Rich - and You're Not Club (Massachusetts Edition)

FORBES says these 5 people are the richest in Massachusetts.

Abigail Johnson

Zedeno Chara est détesté à Montréal

The Bruins may lose their star player for awhile - the uproar in Quebec is intense

I don't think it was a deliberate hit but....

Chara admitted that he knew he was close to the Bruins' bench, but he did not go into the check with the intention of hurting the Habs' left winger.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I don't think we will see Tom Brady on Dancing With The Stars.....

Worst dancer in Rio's history?

Maybe he has 'Beat Deafness'

The darkest night in the history of the Boston Bruins

Tonight the Boston Bruins travel up to snowbound Montreal to face their old rivals yet again. The two teams have played each other more times in both regular season play, and more playoff series, than any other two teams in NHL history. In the playoffs alone they have met 163 times - 46 more than second place Detroit vs Toronto.

We all remember what happened when they last met a month ago at the Garden.

2 months ago the Bruins blew a 2-0 lead late in the third period in Montreal....and in OT

The Boston Bruins have not won a Stanley Cup since 1972 but in 1979 they came oh so close.
When the Forum de Montreal closed in 1996, Red Fisher the longtime hockey writer wrote about the greatest game in the history of the building.
Was there ever a more exciting game than the one in 1979 when the Canadiens rallied for a tying goal in Game 7 of the Cup semifinal against the Bruins when Boston was caught with too many men on the ice?

The Canadiens, winners of three consecutive Stanley Cups, had won the first two games of the series, outscoring the Bruins 9-4. That was expected. Piece of cake. What nobody expected was that the Bruins would win the next two in Boston and split the next two. The teams faced off at the Forum in Game 7 for the right to face the New York Rangers in the Cup final.

Three hours and 26 minutes later, Mario Tremblay raced down right wing. On the left, Yvon Lambert sprinted for the net, arriving there in time to take Tremblay's pass ... and goal! The time: 9:33 into the first overtime.

What more could any group of athletes provide than what was delivered that night? How much deeper could this Boston team dig than the 3-1 lead they took into the third period, two from Wayne Cashman and another from Rick Middleton? How much work was needed from the Canadiens for the goals they got from Mark Napier and Guy Lapointe to tie the game?

Now, it's Middleton shooting from almost behind the net. The puck strikes Ken Dryden's arm and falls behind him with fewer than four minutes remaining. Game and series over, right? Incredibly, seconds later, with only 2:34 remaining in regulation, the Bruins are caught with too many men on the ice! Last chance and, as you'd expect, the Canadiens had their best on the ice. Lafleur and Robinson were there. So were Serge Savard, Steve Shutt and Jacques Lemaire.

The goal which sent the game into overtime happened this way:

Lafleur carried the puck up the ice and passed it to Lemaire, deep in the Boston zone. Lemaire promptly passed it back to Lafleur at the top of the circle. What he needed to send the game into overtime was a perfect shot, and that's what he produced with only 74 seconds remaining to beat a spectacular Gilles Gilbert.

I can not begin to describe the despair in Boston after this debacle as coming just months after Bucky F. Dent it was just too much for most Bostonians.

All Bruins fans have heard the infamous phrase 'too many men on the ice' - but unless you are over the age of 40 you most likely have never seen the game.

Here is the complete telecast from CBC's Hockey Night In Canada with the late Danny Gallivan calling the action.

If you don't have the time to watch the entire telecast here is when the penalty happened and the disaster that followed.

The Bruins fired coach Don Cherry after the game - and it was the luckiest thing that ever happened to him as a couple of years later Hockey Night In Canada tried him out as a commentator.

To the horror of many in Canada ESPECIALLY in Quebec - he is still there.

Cherry's memories of that night.

Cherry still loves Boston ( and the Bruins ) - as this clip from 2004 will show when Bostonians reacted to the booing of the United States anthem in Montreal - (which still continues, especially when the Bruins visit)


The Boston Bruins: Celebrating 75 Years

Thursday, March 3, 2011

We know the Commuter Rail has problems - but when will the T buy new Orange and Red Line cars?

This morning with the temperature around 10 degrees with a wind chill below zero, the Orange Line didn't want to play. This is routine whenever it gets cold and for good reason - These trains were built between 1979-81.
To put that in perspective, these trains ran on the Washington Street Elevated.

1985 - courtesy petespix75 on Flickr

The current Orange Line trains were built by the same manufacturer who built the retired Blue Line trains that were built a year earlier. It is time to retire them and send a few cars to the trolley museum in Maine where they can mingle with other retired T cars.
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority 0559Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority 01179Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority 0547

The T released a video showing the problems the older trains face

I really don't understand why new Orange Line cars were not ordered when the Blue Line new cars were but what's done is done...or in this case NOT done.

Things are a little better on the Red Line but there are problems there as well.

68 of the Red Line cars were built in 1969-70 when the Red Line was expanded to Quincy (and later Braintree) - 46 more were built between 1987-9 and 84 cars were built in 1993-4. The Red Line which is by far the busiest of the heavy rail lines also has the most mileage.

The Green Line has 80 Kinki-Sharyo cars that were built in 1987-8 (with 14 more bought a decade later) and 90 of the infamous Breda cars that first showed up in 1999 and the last one arriving in 2007.

Boston is not alone with problems with Breda as San Francisco, Cleveland and Los Angeles have had issues as well ( but not as severe as ours )

To be fair Breda says the design that the MBTA wanted was questionable to begin with.

Now why the MBTA decided to award the contract to Breda in the first place when Kinki-Sharyo gave the system a reliable vehicle is classic Massachusetts insanity.

Kinki just built the cars for the new rail line to the Seattle airport and everybody loves them

Here is my problem with going to the 'low-bidder' - you get what you pay for and usually there are more costs involved in the end. Nobody complains about the Kinki Green Line cars - all they do is work.

I have read Chicago is now testing new rail cars for the 'L manufactured by Bombardier Inc to replace cars that are the oldest in the US going back to 1968. Our Red line cars will soon have that dubious distinction.

The Blue Line is set for the next 20 years so at least we have that going for us.

The rest of the system is what it is - a system that was designed 100 years ago with each line having its own standards. Sadly it says a lot about us that one of the most reliable tunnels in the system was built 100 years ago between Harvard and Kendall and it still doesn't have the issues that the almost 30 year old tunnel from Harvard to Alewife has.

I don't know where the money is going to come from to purchase these cars and I have a feeling MassDOT doesn't either but it has to be done. The Green Line is going to need new cars for the extension to Medford as well. I certainly don't blame the current management of the T for these issues as the problems we are having today were caused by bad decisions decades ago.

However I am tired of riding a system that has trains that don't run as well as the retired ones at the museum in Maine.